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ZODIAC

Found 7 results

  1. In what has arguably been a spectacular year, the football season - comprised of prominent leagues and tournament - is nearing its fitting end. We've seen the likes of Barcelona lifting the La Liga trophy for the 26th time, Juventus clinching their eight successive Serie A title and Kylian Mbappe's hat-trick powering Paris Saint-Germain to Ligue 1 triumph this season. Also, the football fans were recently treated with Manchester City's thrilling Premier League title triumph that was decided on the final matchday of the season. Following the EPL suit, this year's Bundesliga title is also set to go down to the wire as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund (two-points adrift at the top) seek one final win to lift the trophy in the last round of matches on 18th May. And then, there is that big UEFA Champions League final in Madrid that will see English giants Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur locking horns for Europe's biggest trophy on 2nd June. But, while the highly-anticipated clash is still a few weeks away, the fans would be happy to update themselves on the latest list of most valuable and strongest football clubs in the world. © Reuters Putting some of the world's biggest football brands to test, Brand Finance has come up with this year's 'Football 50' - list of top football club brands. Taking into account a number of metrics (both financial and non-financial), the world's leading independent brand valuation consultancy firm has revealed the list of Top 50 most valuable and strongest football brands. Real Madrid might have crashed out of the Champions League and lost the La Liga trophy to arch-rivals Barcelona, but they have the title as the world's strongest football brand in 2019. With a brand value of 1.646 billion euro, the club is ahead of a peer group of a billion-euro-plus brands that includes Manchester United (€1.472bn), Barcelona (€1.393bn), Bayern Munich (€1.314bn), Manchester City (€1.255bn), and Liverpool (€1.191bn). The six clubs account for over 40 per cent of the overall brand value in the Brand Finance 'Football 50' ranking of the sport's most valuable brands, underlining the concentration of wealth and the creation of a set of 'super clubs'. They are followed by Chelsea (€968mn), Paris Saint-Germain (€914mn), Arsenal (€885mn) and Tottenham Hotspur (€758mn) to complete the top 10 spots on the coveted list. Los Blancos Reign Supreme © Reuters Real Madrid have shown this year who truly reigns supreme in the world of football. They triumph not only as the most valuable and strongest brand but their enterprise value and stadium are also ranked second to none. The club returned to the top of Brand Finance's ranking after almost a decade since it last held the title in 2010. The club's brand value has grown 27 per cent since last year, an increase partly attributable to the club winning a fourth UEFA Champions League in five years in 2018. The club had become the first in the world to break the €750 million barrier in revenues in 2017-18. Their commercial monies totalled €356 million, close to 50 per cent of overall revenues, making them the highest generator of cash from this income stream. Real Madrid also possesses the strongest football club brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 95.5 out of 100, marginally ahead of their fierce rivals Barcelona (BSI 95.4). Malaise In Manchester © Reuters Real Madrid's return to the top has pushed Manchester United into second place, as the Red Devils' brand value declined for the first time since 2016, from €1.562 billion last year to €1.472 billion (a 6 per cent drop) in 2019. Manchester United have disappointed in recent years on the playing field both in the Premier League and in the Champions League. Public perceptions of the brand have deteriorated as United ranks only 18th among the sample of the world's top clubs with regards to “playing exciting football”, as revealed by Brand Finance's original fan research. In the 2018-19 season, the club reached the quarterfinal stage of the Champions League but were easily beaten by Barcelona. Moreover, they failed to qualify for the 2019-20 competition for the third time in seven years. Such underperformance for a club accustomed to perpetual success in the Sir Alex Ferguson years is reflected in its revenue generation. Although total revenues remain among the highest, income from commercial and matchday activities has slowed up and TV income declined in 2017-18. To a certain degree, Manchester United have been cast into the shadows in their domestic market by neighbours Manchester City, who won the Premier League in 2018 and 2019. Spurs Race Ahead © Reuters Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are flying the flag for English football this year having reached the final of the UEFA Champions League. Both clubs improved their brand value by 20% to €1.191 billion and €758 million respectively, the highest growth rates in the top 10 after Real Madrid's 27 per cent and Paris Saint-Germain's 21 per cent. Tottenham in particular continue to win plaudits for their commitment to a progressive style of football and youth development. While their new 62,000-capacity home ground was being built, Tottenham were playing at Wembley, which provided the opportunity to grow matchday revenues. Their new stadium should enable them to maintain momentum in this income stream as well as monetise new state-of-the-art facilities through other non-football events. Their financial position was highlighted by record post-tax profits of €131 million in 2017-18, but their success in Europe in 2018-19 should allow the club to further invest in its playing resources and strengthen their ability to compete at the highest level. Wolves Wander Up The Ranks © Reuters While the ranking of the top clubs shows little change to 2018, one of the rising stars are Wolverhampton Wanderers, who returned to the Premier League in 2018 after an absence of six seasons. Wolves, a club with a rich heritage, ranks 28th in the table with a brand valuation of €187 million, and their impressive performance in 2018-19 and the benefits of Premier League membership should create a positive growth trajectory. This season, the club enjoyed their highest attendances at their Molineux ground for almost 50 years. Wolves are owned by Fosun International, which has close links with high-profile agent Jorge Mendes. They have leveraged these relationships to build a strong, attack-minded team of talented players as well as broaden the club's franchise in China and develop an innovative focus on eSports. The Premier Appeal © Reuters The ascendancy of Wolves and the strong presence of English clubs in the Brand Finance 'Football 50' (17 clubs in total) highlights the enduring financial power of the Premier League. The Premier's TV broadcasting revenues outstrip all the other major European leagues - €2.9 billion versus LaLiga's €1.2 billion in 2017, while commercial revenues are more than double the income of Serie A or Ligue 1. The Premier League is also the most widely followed league across Europe's main football markets, according to Brand Finance's original fan research. The Premier League is deemed to have a “superior atmosphere” and a “greater level of competitiveness” than other national competitions. However, the Premier League did not score highest on all metrics as La Liga is thought to have more “star players” and “world class clubs” than the Premier League. Brand Value By Leagues © Reuters Apart from the football clubs, Brand Finance also projected astonishing numbers in relation to the brand value in terms of competitive football leagues. There was no surprise to see Premier League right at the top of the list with a brand value of €8,683 million (a 6.9 per cent jump from last year's figures of €8,120 million). It wasn't really surprising considering the fact that it has provided all four finalists across the Champions League and UEFA Europa League this year - a feat achieved by a country for the very first time. Premier League is followed by La Liga whose brand value has been estimated at €3,998 million (a massive 23 per cent rise from last year's figures of €3,242 million) in the esteemed list. Germany's Bundesliga is at the third spot with a brand value of €3,815 million, followed by Serie A (€2,001mn) and Ligue 1 (€1,242mn).
  2. Premier League's final day saw a very disappointing end for the 13-time champions Manchester United after a 0-2 loss at the hands of Cardiff City at Old Trafford last night. While neither of the teams entered the field with the motive of winning anything other than the honour of reigning supreme at one of the most celebrated grounds in the world, the disrespectful way in which the Bluebirds dominated Ole Gunnar Solskjær's men for the entire match led to an ugly verbal bout between the fans of the Red Devils and one of their leading men in Paul Pogba. After the loss, when the United players were in the middle of their 'lap of honour' at full time, which they do as a ritual after the final home game of every season, the outraged fans of the club barked down at the Frenchman. “You're F*cking Sh*t”, they shouted at Pogba, who took off his jersey quietly listening to the crowd talking down at him. A few moments later, Pogba calmly folded his hands in front of a hostile audience, and exited from the field without saying a word. Paul Pogba receives abuse from a fan. We don't deserve him. #mufc pic.twitter.com/tW5lkyN62b — ManUnitedZone (@ManUnitedZone_) May 12, 2019 Manchester United great, Lou Maraci slammed Pogba for his contributions in bringing up the fight, which, honestly, did not have enough substance to begin with in the first place. "Oh come on, come on! I haven't come here today to [see this]," said Macari on MUTV. “What are you thinking about?' What's this all about?” Talking about Pogba talking off his jersey and thinking if it signified his desire to quit the club, he said: "Keep your strip on to start with… who else do you see with a strip off?” But the question here is whether Pogba got so much hatred because of the way he plays or was it because of something that has absolutely zero relation to the game? Even though in the 35 appearances that Pogba has made in the EPL this season in which he has scored on 13 occasions and has helped his side have a 18-8-9 winning record and was Manchester United's only representative in the PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) Team of the Year, it was Pogba who faced the heat in difficult times and no one else. Why? Is it because he is not English, or is it because he is black? What people do not realise is that racism is not limited to calling someone the 'N' word. Whether intentionally or unconsciously, slandering Pogba to such a degree, regardless of how bad his season was, does not seem to be because of his skills in football. This is not a one-off opinion, people from all around the world believe so: Racism at the highest.. Why whites insult Blacks.. Sorry brother @ManUtd Pogba . pic.twitter.com/RBTXyNi60t — Dr Ryan Samir ™ð (@Ryan_Mucilih) May 12, 2019 This agenda against Pogba is fuelled by racism, there is no other explanation. Because the whole back four, midfield and forward put together are not half as good Pogba. https://t.co/U8nPR51n7A — Arya Stark (@_syedali97) May 12, 2019 I'm shocked Ole got done with his post match interview and didn't address the Pogba incident. Do this to an English player, they'll raise the racism flag and put on polos to kick it out — Prophet Chijioke. (@ProphetChijioke) May 12, 2019 i am going to treat every Pogba slander from united fans as racism — i love you 3000 Arya Stark (@s1_kwasi) May 12, 2019 Manchester United fans are known for a feeling of compassion towards their players, regardless of the language they speak or the colour of the skin. So, when something this grave and unfortunate happens at Old Trafford, it either means that these so called “fans” aren't real or it means that the moral base of the Red Devils supporters is shaking, both of which are saddening and it breaks my heart.
  3. The excitement among Manchester United fans soared further on Thursday with the Ole Gunnar Solskjær being confirmed as the permanent manager of club on a three-year contract after a successful period in interim charge. As per his interim contract, Solskjær was due to continue as the caretaker manager of the club until the end of the season. But some prolific performances since his arrival in England, including an epic win over Paris Saint Germain in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, have landed him the job permanently. Although United suffered successive defeats before the international break, at Arsenal and then at Wolves in the FA Cup, they did have a 12 match unbeaten run in the Premier League prior to that. United have confirmed they the Norwegian as the best long-term option with Tottenham's ex-manager, Mauricio Pochettino being a close contender in the build-up. As told to Manchester United TV: Solskjær: From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club. It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here. The last few months have been a fantastic experience. © Instagram/manchesterunited “I want to thank all of the coaches, players and staff for the work we've done so far. This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I'm beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success.” His stunning three-month stint as the club caretaker was enough for the club management to decide his future at the club. Handing defeats to big clubs like Chelsea, Tottenham and PSG, along with maintaining in their position in the top four of the English Premier League, Gunner was the best option the management had. Ed Woodward: “More than just performances and results, Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club.” Woodward: “This all means that he is the right person to take Manchester United forward. “I want to thank Ole and the coaching team for everything they have done so far and congratulate him on this richly deserved appointment. “The fans and everyone at the club are behind him as he looks to take us where we need to be and build the next stage of our history.” And as expected, the Red Devils painted Twitter red following the announcement. Here is how they celebrated: I'm delighted for Ole . I didn't think this would happen when he was appointed . However the results and spirit in the club have been incredible since he arrived and he deserves it. He now needs support in the transfer market in terms of finance and the right resource! â¤ï¸ð¹ — Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 28, 2019 Sum up your reaction to Ole receiving the permanent job in a GIF â¬ï¸ #mufc — United Xtra (@utdxtra) March 28, 2019 ð¶ Tell me how good does it feel... ð¶ pic.twitter.com/wYEpDhK0v4 — B/R Football (@brfootball) March 28, 2019 What a good way to start the day. Time for a he board to back him and bring the glory days back. — James Kenny ð (@JamesyCantona) March 28, 2019 Tears in my eyes pic.twitter.com/qs1i8MFaEb — ¹â°â¡ (@Rashford101) March 28, 2019
  4. After eagerly waiting for the UEFA Champions League draws for the quarter-finals, we finally have the table in front of us. The Champions League quarter-finals are set ð« Happy? #UCL pic.twitter.com/NQRf7Flh0o — Goal (@goal) March 15, 2019 While the rest of the contests look pretty decent, our major focus instantly shifted to the matches between Lionel Messi's Barcelona FC and Paul Pogba's Manchester United that are destined to take place on 9th April (Leg 1) and 16th April. Keeping in mind the performances carried out by two of the most historically prestigious football clubs in the recent past it is safe to say that Messi and Co. clearly have the upper hand. Case in point, Barcelona's previous match up against Lyon which the Spanish giants easily cruised past after winning 5-1 on aggregate. With Messi coming back to form in the second leg as he scored two goals and assisted twice, things don't seem to be getting any easier for the Red Devils. On the other hand, Manchester United have proven their true worth to those who underestimated them during their duel against Mbappe's Paris Saint-Germain. We scoured the internet to check out exactly how the fans from both sides reacted to the draw and the results are hilarious: Overjoyed Barcelona Fans: Rip Man United — Messi ð (@loyalmessi) March 15, 2019 Thank you Jessssssssssssuuuuussssssðððð we're through — Saucererð (@ghermaine__) March 15, 2019 I foresee an easy gameðððð...LOL ðð — Yusuf Olatunji (@Yusuf_Olatunji2) March 15, 2019 It's coming home ðªð — Leoð (@ProudCule1) March 15, 2019 RIP IN ADVANCE MAN U — Keith (@Keith58808029) March 15, 2019 Depressed and Gloomy Manchester United Fans: Dear @ChampionsLeague, Thanks for the memories but it's time to say goodbye... — Himansh (@GunnarMindset) March 15, 2019 pic.twitter.com/xmGFPvZKpy — Esoâ (@EsoKachikwu) March 15, 2019 pic.twitter.com/TMr5fN8wDV — Leo Carter ð¾ðª (@LeoCarter27) March 15, 2019 pic.twitter.com/TMr5fN8wDV — Leo Carter ð¾ðª (@LeoCarter27) March 15, 2019 My brother when I told they'd drawn Barcelona ðð pic.twitter.com/2LKqcF1fPj — William (@talibanscum) March 15, 2019 pic.twitter.com/sItdB4e1eu — Koyin ð³ð¬ (@K0YIN) March 15, 2019
  5. When legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly said, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don't like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that” he really meant it. So, it's quite often that we see a game as small as a Sunday League one, turn into an emotionally charged affair. With tackles flying in, passionate running and heart wrenching moments, a footballer is always fighting for something more than three points. This turns to be true for every football fan as well. Frequently considered as the '12th man' of a team, football without fans would be just eleven men kicking the ball around. However, being a fan comes at a cost. Despite the sheer agony and pleasure that one feels at the special Champions League nights and at the weekends, the dark side of the game does rear its ugly head sometimes. After witnessing the historic comeback of his beloved Manchester United in Paris, a Red Devils' fan was stabbed in the chest by a taxi driver and is undergoing emergency surgery. The 44-year old fan was travelling back to the city centre with three other supporters. Angered by their celebrations, the taxi driver threatened a female passenger with a 'large blade' before turning on a male passenger and stabbing him, leaving him to fight for his life. A man was arrested by local police in connection with the incident, but no weapon has been recovered. We understand football is not 'just a game' but this guy went way too far. Actions like these are appalling and a disgrace to mankind. We wish the victim a speedy recovery and hope UEFA & FIFA will make joint efforts in order to ensure the safety of travelling fans in future.
  6. Treading his way to becoming one of the finest footballers of the current generation, France's Kylian Mbappe is shutting down all those who doubted Paris Saint-Germain's ability to play without their leader Neymar Jr., who is out due to a fractured metatarsal and Forward Edinson Cavani, who was ruled unfit to play with a thigh injury earlier in the week. In what was presumed to be a complete massacre of the visiting PSG against a rejuvenated Manchester United, the 20-year-old Frenchman led a team surrounded by scare stories of the season already coming to an end for them. But despite playing on their home ground, it felt as if the Red Devils founds themselves on foreign territory as PSG charged at them with all their might from the start. Dominating the possession of the ball for over 56% of game-time, the Saint-Germain attack slammed United goalkeeper David de Gea with five shots on target. Despite trying his best to keep ManU in the contest, de Gea was unable to prevent the two second-half goals from happening. While Presnel Kimpembe scored on a brilliant volley on the precise corner from Angel Di Maria in the 53rd minute, it was Kylian Mbappe's superhuman sprint before a top-notch finish on a Di Maria assist for the second goal that drew people's attention. Known to have a top-speed of 44.7 kmph (which was recorded during the match between PSG and Lille OSC, Mbappe zoomed past United defenders Eric Bertrand Bailly and Victor Lindelöf and covered a little over 37 yards in less than four seconds for the finish. Mbappe with his pace nets another goal for the French side. pic.twitter.com/Z1mkU12s56 — BOLUð (@beespeakz) February 12, 2019 This was the 20-year-old's 14th Champions League goal in 24 appearances, which led to the French Forward matching the legendary Ronaldo's record which he attained after playing as many as 40 games. Twitter instantly showed love towards Mbappe's quickness and the memes began to roll in: #MUNPSG Mbappe is damn fast. Mans can steal your girl, and dump her without you realising. pic.twitter.com/9I02y4U4lo — Mutebi ðªð¾ Alexð¥Katoð (@mutebilx_qato) February 12, 2019 #Mbappe went #SuperSaiyan on #ManU!#PSGMU pic.twitter.com/EUBOuk0vjZ — Aditya Pandey (@adityapandey148) February 13, 2019 “Mbappe's too fast i can't handle him” pic.twitter.com/gQGUFl8xkm — hayato akaba (@abmasayrag) February 13, 2019 Mbappe is too fast for anyone to catch him.#Flash #PSG pic.twitter.com/ia1gNCswLu — Gohar Shah (@GoharSh34542679) February 13, 2019 Mbappe is too fast for the United defence pic.twitter.com/Q3PQYpSFSB — ð BongZ DA KinG ð (@Bongani803) February 12, 2019 Mbappe is Olympic level fast. #MANPSG #Mbappé #rapid pic.twitter.com/FU9MNcDq1N — Lady Carrington (@CarrieGagen) February 12, 2019 United defenders to Mbappé: “Hey, no fair, you got fast legs. We got these little, bitty hooves.” pic.twitter.com/f5l4R2FBSR — Kevin McGuinness ð (@Guinnesszoon) February 12, 2019 How fast is Mbappe pic.twitter.com/5ylNcXcPrY — Lutho Gee Zatu (@gnkenke) February 12, 2019
  7. Football, as a game, has seen many players win matches single-handedly. The top two players in the world, none other than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have done just that thousands of times. But with their days on top of the world now numbered, who could be the one to replace them? The young star who's been the most talked about in terms of replacing either of the two stars, is not interested in taking their place right now, instead, he wants to make a name for himself and head to the top. Already winning the World Cup as a teenager, the young prodigy, Kylian Mbappe has had a great impact in the football world. The Frenchman has also achieved a bunch of the other most prestigious awards in the footballing world till date. Be it the FIFA Young Player of the Year trophy or the 2018 French Footballer of the Year accolade, Mbappe's resume looks rather impressive for his age. © Reuters But another big test awaits the 20-year-old as his club, Paris Saint-Germain takes on a resurgent Manchester United, in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 fixture on Tuesday night. Ahead of the match the complete forward line up of PSG, barring Mbappe, has been ruled out for both the legs due to injuries. While Neymar was already suffering from a broken metatarsal, the match against Bordeaux last weekend sent Edinson Cavani, to the treatment room, pushing Thomas Tuchel (PSG Manager) in a tight corner before the Man Utd clash. © Reuters In this crisis, PSG fans expect the young marvel Mbappe to raise his hand and take the burden on himself. Tuchel, in a recent interview, clarified his position regarding Mbappe's leadership in a pre-match press conference as he said: “We can't just place all of the burden and pressure on him, Kylian has his own qualities, it is not really his job to replace Cavani and Neymar. He can't do all three things at the same time. He can't be himself and do the other two. He has to be free to play his game, to play with confidence.” "I want us to be capable to help him to find the right support. Provide him with good passes and in my opinion, he needs to play with a good mindset. He needs to be positive and realise that it is part of his development. It is the kind of moments you really are able to develop as a player," he added. © Reuters The absence of the bigger names could somewhere force Tuchel to change the formation from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1, in which he could play Mbappe in the front with Angel Di Maria and Dani Alves on left attacking midfielder and right attacking Midfielder respectively. With Alves and Thilo Kehrer being the two right backs, he can surely push Alves in Mbappe's support. With Draxler in the middle and Di Maria and Alves on either side, it could definitely prove to be of some help for the centre-forward star. With that said, Mbappe has never really been in this sort of a situation earlier, especially in a game of this magnitude. Even with the national team, the depth of talent in the French squad has also ensured a solid company for the young forward. © Reuters When the draw for the last 16 was made, PSG was widely viewed as the favourites to progress with United labouring in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho. However, the caretaker boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whipped his magic wand and transformed the fortunes at Old Trafford for the better. They have been undefeated for 11 consecutive matches since the Norwegian's arrival. Former Premier League star Charlie Nicholas predicts a 2-2 draw tonight. “When this draw came out, I gave Manchester United no hope - but now, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I think it could go either way.” Nicholas expressed to SkyBet. “The absences of Neymar and Edinson Cavani are a huge blow for PSG and a boost for United. Cavani would have caused them a ton of problems.” Another football Pundit, Steve Nicol favours Manchester United for winning the game 2-1 in his recent interview to ESPN. So we definitely know in which directions the odds are headed. © Reuters Despite all the drama in the buildup, what is certain is that we can hope for an action-packed 90 minutes tonight. All eyes will be on Mbappe, and for inspiration, he has to look only as far as the interim manager in the other dugout.
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